POLITICS

Michael Cohen: 'Of Course' Donald Trump Knew Hush Money Payments Were Wrong

The president's former fixer told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos he gave "loyalty to someone who, truthfully, does not deserve loyalty."

Michael Cohen claims President Donald Trump knew it was wrong to make hush money payments during the 2016 election campaign to two women who alleged they had affairs with him.

Cohen — Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer who was this week sentenced to three years in prison for crimes involving campaign finance and lying to Congress — made the claim during an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that aired early Friday.

“He was trying to hide what you were doing, correct?” Stephanopoulos asked Cohen.

“Correct,” Cohen said.

“And he knew it was wrong?”

“Of course,” Cohen said, before adding that Trump concealed the payments “to help him and the campaign.”

Cohen said his cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation means he is no longer lying.

“The special counsel stated emphatically that the information that I gave to them is credible and helpful,” he said. “There is a substantial amount of information that they possessed that corroborates the fact that I am telling the truth.”

“I’m done with the lying,” Cohen added. “I am done with being loyal to Donald Trump.”

“I knew what I was doing was wrong,” Cohen told Stephanopoulos, with reference to the hush payments to Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels. “I stood up before the world and I accepted the responsibility for my actions.”

“I gave loyalty to someone who, truthfully, does not deserve loyalty,” he said, adding he was “angry at himself” for his role.

Trump denies the affairs, although he has changed his stories regarding the payments multiple times. He repeatedly calls the special counsel’s investigation a “witch hunt,” and on Thursday blamed Cohen for any wrongdoing involving the hush payments.

Cohen, asked by Stephanopoulos whether Trump was telling the truth about Muller’s investigation, answered emphatically: “No.”

Cohen gave an off-camera interview to Stephanopoulos over the summer, expressing regret for working for Trump and foreshadowing his eventual cooperation with Mueller’s investigation.

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